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Not Pooping in the litter box...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My little girl, Milukhu has been pooping mostly outside of the litter boxes for about 4 years now. She does the peeing fine. I've had her and her sister for about 5 years now. She just never liked pooping in the litter box. I tried everything to re-train her, asked vets, bought different litters, boxes, etc... and layed out newspaper, everything I could think of...for the most part, she still refuses to poop comfortably in the litter boxes. I have 4 of them for 2 kitties! Her sister, Bumpy never had an accident, and seems to love digging in the litter, which tells me that she's fine with the set up. I've been frustrated with my baby girl, Milukhu that seems to always be the one having issues. I love my baby, spoiled her to death, but I am kind of frustrated in having to clean this one specific rug that she often poops on. The vet told me to take her to a cat shrink... as nothing is wrong with her health. I really don't have any ideas lefts and my kitty would freak if I took her to see a shrink, away from her environment. She is scared of strangers, so I don't see how seeing a shrink will her. If anything, it might give her more stress.

Last week, she did poop in the litter box twice. I was estatic! But, now she's back to pooping on the carpet and rug. I don't know why she is doing this, since obviously she knows how to do it in the litter boxes. I always try to keep the litter boxes super clean as well. Please let me know if anyone would have any more ideas in helping me solve the mystery? Thanks so much.
post #2 of 14
After using the litterbox, does Milukhu bury after or does she let Bumpy do all the cleanup? The 2 share all 4 boxes? Some cats just don't want to share. Do you remember what made Milukhu use the box properly that time? This is important, because if you can remember the conditions, your problem is about solved.
If her particular "rug" is not around, she goes where? only the carpet? Sometimes, just the texture of a rug can tell the cat it is okay to poo there.
post #3 of 14
have you tried putting the litterbox on the spot she poops on the carpet usually if it's the same spot? If you find her going in the litterbox regularlary that way, slowly move it , a few inches every few days, back to where you want it and see if that helps.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've tried moving the litter box to the location where Milukhu likes to poop, (the corner of a large low profile area rug where the coffee table is on) but she'll just go next to it, or directly on the carpet and not on the rug. Other spots she's pooped on include a stack of newspaper, towels in her bed, and even on plastic runner. After she poops, she will try scratch and bury the area around it. I've seen it. I try not to freak her out when I catch her in the process... and if I sense she wants to poop when she's ready to squat, I'll throw down some papertowel or newspaper under her butt and she'll go. She doesn't seem to mind. At one point in time, she had some stomach problems and pooped all over the house (while running around), it was hell cleaning up after her. So now, I am just thankful if her poop is completely solid and in one location... this I can deal with a little better. I'll talk to my baby nicely while she's pooping (she let's me be around when she does it)... so she's calm, but now I think she translates that as encouragement to poop at the spot she's at. I also tried picking her up and putting her in the litter box when she is ready to go... although she doesn't like it, when she had to to bad, she'll stay in the box, finish and dash off without even burying. Then she'll run off to the other litter box and pee. Funny thing is, she'll cover the pee when she feels like it. And, if she doesn't, Bumpy will help her. See, she is so spoiled. I tried changing litter, like feline pine... but she doesn't care for it. I think she was chewing on the little pieces that gave her more stomach problems! I tried not using the lids of the litter boxes too... but not much improvement either.

The few times I saw Milukhu poop in the litter box was in no different situation than the daily routine. She went to pee in one box, then moved to the next to poop. Normally, she won't like to even pee in a box that has clumps in it already. And, it was right when I was about to clean the boxes out... so the boxes weren't even completely clean yet. I just feel like she just want to give me a difficult time because she knows I love her so much...even being the devil child she is...Obviously, she knows how to use the boxes.

Another vet told me to try Feliway to get her to be calmer. My Milukhu isn't that hyper and I'd prefer not to give her anything to make her not be herself (other than the pooping problem). Have anyone tried Feliway and found it to be a good solution? I thought it was more for getting kitties suited for newer environments, etc... Oh another thing, I move to a new place about a year ago... and the funny thing is for the first month or so, Milukhu was using the litter boxes regularly. I'd think after moving she's not be that good. Instead, it's the opposite. I don't know what she's thinking. I have to accept that my baby isn't normal, but I don't want to deal with her pooping on the carpet forever if I didn't have to. So, still looking for solutions....Thanks for listening and all input!
post #5 of 14
Please read this thread to learn lots of ideas on stopping poop problems.
post #6 of 14
Is she declawed by any chance?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
A little good news...Milukhu pooped in the litter box last night!! Yeah! I didn't see her do it, but I cleaned up 2 different ones in 2 boxes in the morning... so unless Bumpy pooped twice in 2 different boxes, I'd be wrong. Hahahaha... I hope she continues. I really don't know why she does use the boxes on occasion and most other times, she'll just go on the rug...

Thanks for the informative replies. I've actually read on the first two in the past. Milukhu isn't declawed. I don't believe in having kitties tortured to do this...(just my opinion). But, I do cut my kitties' nails regularly. They don't seem to have problems with litter stuck between their paws...they have their scratching trees to clean off.

One question I have on locking cats in an isolated room for 3 days to retrain... wouldn't she think she's being punished and not understand? I know my Milukhu is afraid of being alone, so I don't know how she'll react to it, if I tried it. I am afraid that she'll have a worse behavior problem afterwards. In the past, at night I slept in my bedroom with the door closed and she continuously banged and scratched at the door all night wanting to come in. I tried sticking to training her into behaving and not letting her come in, but she was persistant and pretty much dug a hole in my carpet, trying to come in from under the door! She cried every night and shredded the entire area of the carpet in front of the door. She is not quite a "normal" baby. I had to give in. It just has to be her way... sigh.
post #8 of 14
I know what its like to have a 'speacial needs' animal .. and I admire your patience and caring Good luck solving your problem!
post #9 of 14
Hi. I used the isolation method with my kitty and it worked pretty well. I had her isolated in the bathroom when I wasn't around to watch her or when I was sleeping. Also, if I noticed that she went recently, then I let her out unsupervised for a while. She was lonely in there but she was always so happy to see me when I would let her out. In the end, I think she felt better because she was no longer stressed about not knowing where to go.

Also, have you tried the Cat Attract litter?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you Rosieandcricket, I really appreicate your kind words.

Hi Furbum, your kitties are adorable. No, I have not tried cat attract. I just looked it up. Is that what you used that helped? If it's got herbal ingredients, I am afraid my kitties will chew on it (Milukhu did with Feline Pine, and gave her tummy problems too.) I will look into it and perhaps give it a try. I'll try anything I haven't tried... Thanks!
post #11 of 14

Actually, I used World's Best Original to retrain her. (I didn't know about Cat Attract at the time). She does sometimes chew on it when it is fresh but it is all natural so it doesn't hurt her.

I haven't actually tried Cat Attract but I heard that it can have good results.

I don't think my kitty minded the isolation too much because I put her bed and toys in there and let her out every day when I came home... Sometimes when a cat is stressed they prefer a small room that is quiet and peaceful. It did help her readjust and regain her confidence I think.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
How long did it take for your kitty to gain confidence and get better? Did she cry a lot? I haven't tried the method yet, since I felt my Milukhu was "trying"... but lately, this week she's not doing so welll... I have no idea what she's thinking. Thanks.
post #13 of 14
A question for you: how much do you value the rug she likes to poop on? Would you be willing to sacrifice it in order to train her to go in the box?

Here's my idea: put the rug in the litterbox. Don't cover it with any litter, but have some underneath. See if she'll still "go" on it. If so, leave things like that for a couple/few weeks. Continue cleaning it off, and putting the poop in the actual litter in the box, but leave the rug in the box as well. Gradually start putting small amounts of litter on top of it, and over a few months' time bury it completely. Also...put the litterbox where the rug normally lies. There's something between the placement of the rug and the rug itself that she's preferring, so let's play along, and combine the two. When she sees the rug in the box, she'll probably still go on the rug. This way, you're at least getting her into the BOX, and you can gradually change over like I mentioned.

Do you think this will work? It would work best with an uncovered litterbox, so she sees immediately that her rug is there in the box. What do you think?

Let me know, and let us know how things progress, ok?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion. The rug she goes on is a very heavy large area rug 6 X 7 ft. If I could cut it up for Milukhu to use her litter boxes, I would. I have 4 litter boxes and I leave all of them open usually, unless there are visitors. I think what I will do is to continue experimenting with different litters. I really don't get her... sometimes she'll just run to the litter box and start pooping and other times, actually most times... she'll go else where, usually on the rug. Oh, actually she did it on a bathroom rug too...and that was just when I brought it home new! What a character... I am clueless... But, at least this week she did poop twice in the box... at least a bit progress. Thanks for the support!
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